Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution
Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
A common and often overlooked reason for escalation and violence is the lack of mechanisms and institutions to address conflicts in a constructive manner. Conflict preventive and resolutive work is undertaken in order to avoid the occurrence of violence and its escalation and recurrence.
Dialogue and mediation are important tools in such work. A dialogue process is an open-ended discussion that entails listening, understanding, and the sharing of perspectives. A mediation process is more formalized, with a mediator providing a framework for negotiations aimed at reaching a concrete settlement, such as a peace agreement. Mediation processes are often instituted when a conflict has escalated and positions are more entrenched than previously.
Reconciliation is an important tool to prevent the recurrence of violence in a society emerging from conflict. Half of all violent conflicts re-emerge five years after the signing of a peace agreement. As such, a course of reconciliation is vital in a post-conflict society and must encompass the majority of the society’s members - whether perpetrators or victims, active or passive, in the underlying struggle.
Reconciliation can involve various approaches and activities. However, official reconciliation processes tend to include scrutiny of the past to establish the truth of what happened during the conflict, the consideration of elements of justice to redress victims, compensation in the form of reparations or memorials and national mourning days, and apologies at official or personal level.
In international peace missions in conflict areas, civilian observers play an increasingly important role. The observers’ mandate differ, but their role is often to monitor and follow up on human rights violations or to oversee the implementation of peace or armistice agreements. Their work is important and helps the international community to understand and resolve ongoing conflicts.
What does the FBA do?
- Policy, research and development
The FBA supports international research on conflict prevention.
The FBA provides tailor-made courses on conflict prevention that meet the specific needs of organizations such as the EU, UN and OSCE.
- International work
As part of Sweden’s international development cooperation, FBA has the mission to work with dialogue and mediation in a number of countries. The FBA also seconds Swedish civilian observers, and mediation and reconciliation experts, to international peace missions. Please see the map about our international projects.
In June 2015, the FBA got the mission to create a Swedish Women Mediation Network, aiming to increase the number of women mediators and facilitators in peace processes. Read more about the project in this fact sheet. The Swedish network is part of the Nordic Women Mediators, a network of women from the Nordic countries with professional mediation and negotiations experience. Click here to read the mission statement of the Nordic Women Mediators. The FBA is also a member organization of the Mediation Support Network.